The Cambodian SEA Games Organizing Committee (CAMSOC) will today conclude a two-day conference on preparations for the 2023 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games as the Kingdom gears up to host the biennial regional sporting showpiece.

The conference at Phnom Penh’s at Sokha Hotel includes a workshop on good governance for the hosting of the 32nd SEA Games and 12th ASEAN Para Games – to be held as “Cambodia 2023” with the slogan “Sport: Live In Peace”. The Opening Ceremony is to take place on May 5.

CAMSOC is reviewing the progress made in 2021 and outlining the direction for 2022-2023 at the event, as the body continues to address all challenges and implement the plans necessary for a successful hosting of the Games.

The conference is being presided over by CAMSOC chairman and Minister of National Defence Tea Banh – who will give closing remarks as the event concludes – while CAMSOC vice-president and Minister of Tourism Dr Thong Khon was also in attendance, as were leaders from various sectors and other stakeholders.

Banh has praised the efforts of the organisers and the achievements of 2021, despite the obstacles provided by the Covid-19 pandemic, and urged all parties involved to take the highest responsibility for their roles and responsibilities in order to ensure the event’s success as Cambodia makes history.

“I would like to highly commend the general secretariat and the relevant expert committees who have organised this conference and workshop, and this is a testament to the achievements of CAMSOC’s working mechanisms in strengthening the implementation of the ongoing work.

“The goal for 2022 is as an operational year for the 2023 SEA Games-ASEAN Para Games, and the conference will have discussed in depth on resolving any remaining challenges,” Banh said, according to the official Cambodia 2023 Facebook page.

CAMSOC secretary-general Vath Chamroeun told The Post that the conference was important in finalising mechanisms for good governance in the management of Cambodia 2023.

“At the conference, we evaluated the strengths and weaknesses of the past work and addressed all challenges as we prepare to host the 2023 SEA Games. To get to where we want to be, we need to have clear mechanisms, which is why the conference focused on the importance of good governance in the management of the event.

“We have the legal standards and a guidebook, in which we have compiled all the rules, including the code of ethics, regulations, SEA Games hosting rights, as well as the action plan for each commission – all the result of the huge efforts over the past two years,” Chamroeun said.

‘Discipline necessary’

The Kingdom’s chief sports administrator – a former Olympic wrestler who competed for Cambodia at the 1996 Atlanta Games – said discipline is a must for the successful hosting of Cambodia 2023.

CAMSOC is reviewing the progress made in 2021 and outlining the direction for 2022-2023 at the event. Cambodia 2023

“Discipline is necessary to get the best results and will determine the success of preparations, so to successfully organise such a large sporting event, we have developed a code of conduct and a code of ethics to serve as guiding principles for all involved.

“Good governance means that all work must be carried out with transparency, integrity, accountability and efficiency.

“The code of conduct is intended to ensure integrity to avoid tarnishing the reputation of CAMSOC and the Games. All who work in CAMSOC or in a capacity related to CAMSOC must be disciplined, transparent, honest and accountable in their work,” said Chamroeun, who is also secretary-general of the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia (NOCC).

Some 8,000 athletes across 40 sports are set to convene in the Kingdom to contest the 2023 SEA Games, with more than 2,000 para athletes due to compete in the Para Games.

Cambodia, a founder member of the Southeast Asian Games Federation – the forerunner to the current regional sports body – in 1959, is hosting the SEA Games for the first time.

The Kingdom was due to host the Games in 1963 before being cancelled due to the political situation at the time.

“Sport: Live In Peace” was accordingly chosen as the slogan for Cambodia 2023 to highlight how peace has been the catalyst for the Kingdom’s remarkable transformation.